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Jesus Palominos

#176 Jesus Palominos, Transfer to Cal State Fullerton

I always dreamed of a career in music but never thought it was possible, particularly because I am legally blind. Born in Indio, I spent most of my childhood years in the Coachella Valley and faced an uncertain future following high school. Pursuing my love of music and becoming a professional musician didn’t seem like a practical reality, but once I began classes at College of the Desert (COD), I was able to develop a true vision for a future life and career in music.

My professors really encouraged me to pursue the classical guitar, which I was so surprised and happy to hear after having so many doubts. And with the special program at the College for people with disabilities; including tutors, software, and magnifiers; it really helped me overcome my disability and go for my dream.

After completing basic courses at COD, I applied to California State University, Fullerton. I was told I would be perfect for their classical guitar program. Leaving the Coachella Valley for Orange County seemed scary at first, but it was, without question, the place I felt I was meant to be.

I earned my four year degree, and am currently close to completing my master’s degree. Following graduate school, I would love to come back to the Coachella Valley, open my own studio for kids and teach a guitar course at the college that gave me my start. I really want to give back, because the Valley is so fortunate to have an institution like College of the Desert. The College makes a difference in people’s lives, it made a difference in mine.